Thursday, June 24, 2010

Conception Update: Cycle 1

I'm now on Day 38 of my cycle. Which is weird and not weird at the same time. My cycle has a history of being irregular, so it could simply be another long cycle. Plus, May was kind of a stressful month due to the end of the school year (although it was simultaneously not as stressful because I have been actively eliminating new commitments from my plate).

I don't want to turn into this person. I don't want to be the person who obsesses about this whole conception process. I don't want to drive my best friend or my partner or my blog readers crazy with my constant, "Could I be pregnant? Is this symptom a sign of pregnancy? When should I take a pregnancy test?"

The problem is that all the questions are happening in my head. And I like to share what's happening in my head with my best friend, partner, and blog readers.

But I don't want these questions to be happening in my head. The more I talk about them externally, the more I think about them internally. The more I think about them internally, the more I want to talk about them externally. It's a pernicious cycle.

So this is my last post about conception obsession (for a while, at least). There's a lot one can do to prepare for conception (we'll be talking about that in my online course), but then you have to let go (we'll be talking about that, too!).

All of this is complicated by two things: my age and my uncertainty about whether I'm fertile. As far as my age goes, I'm 32. I'm not so worried about the first kid, but if I do want to have a second child, I'll start to be on the old side of the fertility spectrum (especially because I don't want to have kids too close together). As far as my fertility goes, a doctor one told me, "When you start trying to get pregnant, you're probably going to have trouble. But don't worry about it now."

I think I need a plan. Plans usually help me feel better.
  1. I will continue trying to conceive for four cycles (May, June, July, and August). During that time, I will really work on my stress levels, my tendency to control things, and my obsession with planning and worrying. (I recognize that this plan is already counteracting #1!). I will incorporate a little yoga into my daily life because I think it works wonders on me.
  2. I will wait until Day 43 of my cycle to take a pregnancy test. Forty-three days was the longest that my cycle has been in the past year. This month, however, I will take it on Day 41, since I'll be leaving for my yoga retreat soon.
  3. If nothing happens in four months, I will go to my general physician to request a hormonal fertility workup to see if I'm ovulating. I will lie and say I've been trying for a year (since a year of haphazard trying is apparently equivalent to four months of strategic, cycle-tracking sex). I've heard that doctors won't do anything until you've been trying for at least a year.
  4. If there's a hormonal problem, I'll start going to acupuncture for treatments. If there are no hormonal problems, I'll go anyway for the relaxing effects of acupuncture.

Okay, that plan really does make me feel better. I am turning off my obsessive, wondering, conception self.

If you don't hear from me again in Cycle #1, you can safely assume that I am not pregnant and that I will be happily trying to get pregnant during Cycle #2 (but I'll try not to talk about it until I know the results for sure from each cycle).

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Rachel said...

Oh my goodness... I am (and I'm sure more readers, too!!) VERY happy to hear all about your conception ... thoughts, worries, updates, countdowns etc. Please share if you want to share.

If it's affecting your stress levels - then don't... but if you feel things welling up but you don't want to 'over do it' with the conception stuff, then forget it. Post away! :)

C├ęcy said...

I started reading the book about fertility that you have in your book list. Are you not tracking temperature? Because that would help you know (if you have 18 days of high temperature above your cover line if I remember correctly) if you are pregnant or not?
Or did you stopped tracking things?

In either case, it's interesting to hear from it.

Carrie said...

Go easy on yourself, Sara. All those thoughts are exciting and normal. And, frankly, if you just take the test, you'll know and can move on to the next cycle. If you're overly nervous or anxious, save yourself days of time and worry, and just take the test. They are $1 at Dollar Tree and they take 5 minutes! :)

Rachel said...

I share your excitement. :-)

We are waiting until we're 34.

Reading your 'conception journey' definitely interests me!

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed to hear that you that you won't be sharing anymore...although I understand completely why. I have turned into that person you refer to, and we have been trying for a year. I need to hear that my thoughts and anxiety and wanting everything to go according to MY plan are okay; and you have provided that for me because you seem like a very balanced, conscientious person who also like to plan and control thing to some extent. I wish I would have known that there were hormonal workups, etc. I am just now figuring that out & had bloodwork done recently. High levels of prolactin--I am being educated in a whole new way now. This makes sense finally--the acne I am experienceing as an over-30 adult, possibly not even ovulating,etc. Why did I wait a year to find this out??? Because they told me to wait--so lie about the time frame you have been TTC to find out where you stand!! And please do share--that is why I liek your blog. You are real, sharing thoughts and feelings and plans that the rest of us experience and dont' know how to talk about. Good luck! p.s. you motivated me to try to address my own stress levels & I have start a yoga class today, have a massaage scheduled for tomorrow. Thank you

Aamba said...

Good luck! I'm on the edge of my seat hoping for your pregnancy. This is probably way too personal to say, but I know when my friend was trying to conceive, the doctor told her to have sex every other day rather than track things (the one day break allows the sperm to build back up, I guess). And she did get pregnant.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say I'm wishing you luck and I am right there with you, and I know how much it sucks (the waiting, the pernicious cycle, the stupid rules about being able to find out your fertility issues, etc.). If you don't want to wait, you might call your doctor and ask whether you maybe can get some helpful tests done now just to determine how to regulate your ovulation not under the category of fertility tests/treatment that require more TTC time, since your cycles are unusual. For some reason, I thought these tests had to be done through a gyno, though. I didn't know you could go through your regular phsyician.

Also, I find that the worst part about telling others that you're TTC is when they ask about whether you are pregnant yet - so I think it's smart that you are letting people know not to ask that question.

Meghan said...

Please take it easy in yourself. Please.

Annalisa said...

It's funny -- I think we spend most of our sexual life as adults trying not to get pregnant and when you start TTC and find out you're not pregnant on the first cycle, you start thinking "Really?!".

I think I have become obsessed to the point I can't read/listen/watch anything to do with pregnancy.

For us, it's only been 2 or 3 cycles. I check my temp. and have used an ovulation kit. I started taking a B-vitamin complex w/50mg of B-6 (as well as a prenatal w/800mg of folic acid). My husband has been taking 100mg of zinc per day too.

Other than that, we watch what we eat, look out for environmental toxins (plastic bottles, lawn fertilizer, even the gas station - which sounds crazy as I type this), cut back on alcohol, and I have 8oz of coffee per day.

I know you have a plan of having a summer baby but, it might not be. My husband teaches at a university and we want the same thing. However, taking time off during the school year is legal and you get FMLA. Maybe if you don't conceive this summer, still try anyway?

With all that being said, you're not alone in your feelings and anxieties!

Crys said...

FYI: I come to read to all about your conception journey. Please please talk about it as much as you would like! It really helps the rest of us who are having all the same thoughts to feel less crazy and like someone else is there with us. Just wanted you to know:)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...trying not to stress about things is a lot like having someone tell you not to think of a purple elephant--you immediately do. I say take the test--take as many tests as it takes to satisfy your curiosity. Give yourself permission to worry, stress, be excited. Experience it all. Dance around and wonder what if and talk your partner blue in the ear. You'll feel better. Give yourself at least 30 minutes a day that you devote solely to wondering about whether this or that could be a sign that you're pregnant. The rest of the day you can walk around like a normal person--but for those 30 minutes, be as excited and neurotic as you possibly can. And taking the test at this point will probably just take some of the suspense out of it so you can move on and enjoy next month's lovefest! Now disregard everything I just said, because this is your body, your journey, your baby. We're rooting for you!

Anonymous said...

With your cycles being irregular it might be helpful to track when you ovulate. You'll know then 14 days later it's okay to test and won't have to drive yourself nuts during the long waits. Also knowing when you ovulate (and that you do ovulate) will ease your mind and help you to be strategic in your timing.

I will say it's nearly impossible to stop obsessing about it once you've set your mind on it. It took us 15 months of very strategic trying and 5 months of fertility help before success was reached. The wait nearly drove me nuts, but it's all worth it in the end!

Good luck.

Brannie said...

I think its hard to get into actively trying to conceive and NOT get obsessive about it. Once you start tracking things, you pay close attention to all those details. Then you start tracking more things. Its a vicious cycle. I guess what I am saying is, don't be too hard on yourself for being obsessive.

I enjoy your updates, being a later 30's woman TTC (and just did) myself. Also, your blogs have been really helpful for me as well - I can't remember if it was you or a reader that linked, but that was such a helpful tool on my own journey conceiving. Thank you!

Marina said...

I've been giving myself permission to obsess, at least a little, because I figure it's a limited time offer, so to speak. :) There will be very few times in my life when conception will be a big deal, so I might as well enjoy it. But of course you know yourself best, and it's always a fine line between an obsession you enjoy and an obsession that prevents you from enjoying the rest of your life...

Sharpiegirl said...

Here is a great blog that you might enjoy.

Justine said...

good luck today if you are taking the test!

Autumn said...

I feel like I could have written your post. I am totally type A, list-maker supreme, planner, etc., so telling me not to think about it too much because then I'll get stressed and it won't happen... is pretty much like telling me not to breathe. I am trying to chill out, but it's hard. Bringing more yoga into my life, more relaxation, fun with friends, walks with my dogs and husband. All good things to balance out the temperature taking, cervical mucus checking, watching what I eat, being careful about how much I drink, etc., etc.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes have very irregular cycles due to stress, etc, but when I'm regularly taking fish oil (I usually take cod liver oil supplements) it regulates things. Might be worth a try?

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